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201  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Pena Nieto's State of the Union on: September 03, 2014, 08:30:49 AM
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's state of the union address Tuesday offered key insights into Mexico's direction over the next few years. Among the high points of the speech were reforms in the Mexican energy sector that ended the state's monopoly on hydrocarbons production. Pena Nieto's speech also touted reductions in the nation's homicide rate over the past year.

With the legislative hurdles cleared, Mexico will use the next few years to implement reforms achieved in 2013 and 2014. The energy reform in particular portends an increase in Mexican oil output and government revenue over the next decade. Mexico will also continue using federal authorities, including the newly formed gendarmerie, to counter the violence generated by organized crime. However, these are short-term political moves in Mexico's larger geopolitical narrative, in which Mexico's economic future will remain inextricably connected to the United States, and Mexico City will continue searching for ways to mitigate ongoing competition between drug trafficking organizations.

To a large degree, Pena Nieto will focus his presidency on maintaining the steady economic growth of the past 20 years. Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Mexico's real gross domestic product climbed by about $383 billion to more than $1 trillion. This growth, which placed Mexico second in Latin America in terms of GDP and 15th in the world, primarily rose due to the advantages gained by Mexico's proximity to the United States. Mexico has defined its economic strategy around these advantages, which include short transport distances to the world's largest consumer market and Mexico's relatively low wages compared with the United States -- low wages that have spurred investment into manufacturing (with the United States being a leading investor) for decades. NAFTA accelerated this trend, and nearly 80 percent of Mexican exports worth some $300 billion went directly to the United States in 2013. Although Mexico is attempting to eliminate tariff barriers with like-minded trading partners in the burgeoning Pacific Alliance, its trade flows will remain overwhelmingly focused on its neighbor to the north.

What is a Geopolitical Diary? George Friedman Explains.

This long-term economic focus northward will define Mexico's immediate economic moves. Over the next several years, Mexico will continue building out its natural gas pipeline network to take advantage of the U.S. role as a major natural gas producer and supply Mexico's growing industrial base and electricity generation. Because the pipelines that import U.S. natural gas into Mexico are operating near full capacity, Mexico will add three additional pipelines to its grid over the next two years. Mexican state-owned energy firm Petroleos Mexicanos is planning five additional pipelines in upcoming years. Together, these lines will add nearly 55.9 billion cubic meters per year to Mexico's existing pipeline import capacity.

Mexico will also focus heavily on implementing the centerpiece of its reform drive, namely, energy reform. Much of Pena Nieto's political legacy rests on successfully securing meaningful foreign investment into Mexico's oil sector. To this end, the government will auction 169 oil blocks in May 2015. There are growing indications that Pemex is willing to make the necessary moves to restructure the firm to become more competitive. A successful auction is unlikely to bear fruit until several years down the road, but it would set Mexico's deteriorated oil sector on the path toward recovery.

Pena Nieto will also continue dealing with the ongoing violence from Mexico's drug war, an unwelcome inheritance from his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. Mexico remains one of the last destinations in the cocaine supply chain to the lucrative U.S. market, and this role will not change soon. Despite rising cocaine traffic through the Caribbean, the vast majority of cocaine shipments from South America still pass through Mexico -- and thus into the hands of the numerous drug trafficking organizations competing there for dominance over supply routes northward. This violence, which spiked sharply in the years after Calderon sent federal forces directly after drug trafficking organizations in 2006, has remained a challenge for the Mexican government. The government will continue to try to contain the violence associated with criminal competition, and the U.S. interest in stemming the flow of drugs through the U.S. border is unlikely to wane in the coming years.

Despite a major U.S. interest in countering drug flows north, Mexico will likely enjoy significantly less success on the security front. There are simply too many people within criminal organizations and institutions benefiting from the drug trade for its effects to be reduced through law enforcement pressure alone. Although several major drug traffickers were captured during Pena Nieto's term, including Sinaloa Federation leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera and Los Zetas leader Miguel "Z-40" Trevino Morales, the elements remain in place for continued cartel wars across Mexico. The lucrative profit margins available to Mexican drug traffickers will keep spurring competition over supply routes and gateways into the United States. Though the names of individuals and organizations involved in the trade over the next several years will change, the overall dynamic of drug trafficking organizations exporting cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the United States will not. With local police forces highly penetrated by narcotics traffickers, Pena Nieto will continue to rely on the military and other federal security bodies to stem ongoing violence, but setting up lasting law enforcement institutions will prove elusive.

Despite its lasting role in the drug trade, Mexico's future for the remainder of Pena Nieto's tenure looks bright. Reductions in U.S. consumer demand notwithstanding, the country is well-positioned to continue to benefit from high levels of foreign direct investment and trade with the United States. If successful, the energy reform will provide significant revenue flows for both the central government and private firms by the decade's end. Overall, Mexico is set to continue its trajectory toward securing its position as a Latin American economic power.

Read more: The Mexican President's State of the Union Suggests a Bright Future | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pena Nieto's State of the Union on: September 03, 2014, 08:29:30 AM
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's state of the union address Tuesday offered key insights into Mexico's direction over the next few years. Among the high points of the speech were reforms in the Mexican energy sector that ended the state's monopoly on hydrocarbons production. Pena Nieto's speech also touted reductions in the nation's homicide rate over the past year.

With the legislative hurdles cleared, Mexico will use the next few years to implement reforms achieved in 2013 and 2014. The energy reform in particular portends an increase in Mexican oil output and government revenue over the next decade. Mexico will also continue using federal authorities, including the newly formed gendarmerie, to counter the violence generated by organized crime. However, these are short-term political moves in Mexico's larger geopolitical narrative, in which Mexico's economic future will remain inextricably connected to the United States, and Mexico City will continue searching for ways to mitigate ongoing competition between drug trafficking organizations.

To a large degree, Pena Nieto will focus his presidency on maintaining the steady economic growth of the past 20 years. Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Mexico's real gross domestic product climbed by about $383 billion to more than $1 trillion. This growth, which placed Mexico second in Latin America in terms of GDP and 15th in the world, primarily rose due to the advantages gained by Mexico's proximity to the United States. Mexico has defined its economic strategy around these advantages, which include short transport distances to the world's largest consumer market and Mexico's relatively low wages compared with the United States -- low wages that have spurred investment into manufacturing (with the United States being a leading investor) for decades. NAFTA accelerated this trend, and nearly 80 percent of Mexican exports worth some $300 billion went directly to the United States in 2013. Although Mexico is attempting to eliminate tariff barriers with like-minded trading partners in the burgeoning Pacific Alliance, its trade flows will remain overwhelmingly focused on its neighbor to the north.

What is a Geopolitical Diary? George Friedman Explains.

This long-term economic focus northward will define Mexico's immediate economic moves. Over the next several years, Mexico will continue building out its natural gas pipeline network to take advantage of the U.S. role as a major natural gas producer and supply Mexico's growing industrial base and electricity generation. Because the pipelines that import U.S. natural gas into Mexico are operating near full capacity, Mexico will add three additional pipelines to its grid over the next two years. Mexican state-owned energy firm Petroleos Mexicanos is planning five additional pipelines in upcoming years. Together, these lines will add nearly 55.9 billion cubic meters per year to Mexico's existing pipeline import capacity.

Mexico will also focus heavily on implementing the centerpiece of its reform drive, namely, energy reform. Much of Pena Nieto's political legacy rests on successfully securing meaningful foreign investment into Mexico's oil sector. To this end, the government will auction 169 oil blocks in May 2015. There are growing indications that Pemex is willing to make the necessary moves to restructure the firm to become more competitive. A successful auction is unlikely to bear fruit until several years down the road, but it would set Mexico's deteriorated oil sector on the path toward recovery.

Pena Nieto will also continue dealing with the ongoing violence from Mexico's drug war, an unwelcome inheritance from his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. Mexico remains one of the last destinations in the cocaine supply chain to the lucrative U.S. market, and this role will not change soon. Despite rising cocaine traffic through the Caribbean, the vast majority of cocaine shipments from South America still pass through Mexico -- and thus into the hands of the numerous drug trafficking organizations competing there for dominance over supply routes northward. This violence, which spiked sharply in the years after Calderon sent federal forces directly after drug trafficking organizations in 2006, has remained a challenge for the Mexican government. The government will continue to try to contain the violence associated with criminal competition, and the U.S. interest in stemming the flow of drugs through the U.S. border is unlikely to wane in the coming years.

Despite a major U.S. interest in countering drug flows north, Mexico will likely enjoy significantly less success on the security front. There are simply too many people within criminal organizations and institutions benefiting from the drug trade for its effects to be reduced through law enforcement pressure alone. Although several major drug traffickers were captured during Pena Nieto's term, including Sinaloa Federation leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera and Los Zetas leader Miguel "Z-40" Trevino Morales, the elements remain in place for continued cartel wars across Mexico. The lucrative profit margins available to Mexican drug traffickers will keep spurring competition over supply routes and gateways into the United States. Though the names of individuals and organizations involved in the trade over the next several years will change, the overall dynamic of drug trafficking organizations exporting cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the United States will not. With local police forces highly penetrated by narcotics traffickers, Pena Nieto will continue to rely on the military and other federal security bodies to stem ongoing violence, but setting up lasting law enforcement institutions will prove elusive.

Despite its lasting role in the drug trade, Mexico's future for the remainder of Pena Nieto's tenure looks bright. Reductions in U.S. consumer demand notwithstanding, the country is well-positioned to continue to benefit from high levels of foreign direct investment and trade with the United States. If successful, the energy reform will provide significant revenue flows for both the central government and private firms by the decade's end. Overall, Mexico is set to continue its trajectory toward securing its position as a Latin American economic power.

Read more: The Mexican President's State of the Union Suggests a Bright Future | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar and American Freedom on: September 03, 2014, 07:51:29 AM
 shocked shocked shocked  What is our take on the implications there?
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chicago to pay NRA again on: September 03, 2014, 07:45:44 AM
http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/ed8ad5eb#/ed8ad5eb/65
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Black Sea Strategy on: September 02, 2014, 10:58:16 PM
 Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy
Geopolitical Weekly
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 03:00 Print Text Size
Stratfor

By George Friedman

The United States is, at the moment, off balance. It faces challenges in the Syria-Iraq theater as well as challenges in Ukraine. It does not have a clear response to either. It does not know what success in either theater would look like, what resources it is prepared to devote to either, nor whether the consequences of defeat would be manageable.

A dilemma of this sort is not unusual for a global power. Its very breadth of interests and the extent of power create opportunities for unexpected events, and these events, particularly simultaneous challenges in different areas, create uncertainty and confusion. U.S. geography and power permit a degree of uncertainty without leading to disaster, but generating a coherent and integrated strategy is necessary, even if that strategy is simply to walk away and let events run their course. I am not suggesting the latter strategy but arguing that at a certain point, confusion must run its course and clear intentions must emerge. When they do, the result will be the coherence of a new strategic map that encompasses both conflicts.

The most critical issue for the United States is to create a single integrated plan that takes into account the most pressing challenges. Such a plan must begin by defining a theater of operations sufficiently coherent geographically as to permit integrated political maneuvering and military planning. U.S. military doctrine has moved explicitly away from a two-war strategy. Operationally, it might not be possible to engage all adversaries simultaneously, but conceptually, it is essential to think in terms of a coherent center of gravity of operations. For me, it is increasingly clear that that center is the Black Sea.
Ukraine and Syria-Iraq

There are currently two active theaters of military action with broad potential significance. One is Ukraine, where the Russians have launched a counteroffensive toward Crimea. The other is in the Syria-Iraq region, where the forces of the Islamic State have launched an offensive designed at a minimum to control regions in both countries -- and at most dominate the area between the Levant and Iran.

In most senses, there is no connection between these two theaters. Yes, the Russians have an ongoing problem in the high Caucasus and there are reports of Chechen advisers working with the Islamic State. In this sense, the Russians are far from comfortable with what is happening in Syria and Iraq. At the same time, anything that diverts U.S. attention from Ukraine is beneficial to the Russians. For its part, the Islamic State must oppose Russia in the long run. Its immediate problem, however, is U.S. power, so anything that distracts the United States is beneficial to the Islamic State.

But the Ukrainian crisis has a very different political dynamic from the Iraq-Syria crisis. Russian and Islamic State military forces are not coordinated in any way, and in the end, victory for either would challenge the interests of the other. But for the United States, which must allocate its attention, political will and military power carefully, the two crises must be thought of together. The Russians and the Islamic State have the luxury of focusing on one crisis. The United States must concern itself with both and reconcile them.

The United States has been in the process of limiting its involvement in the Middle East while attempting to deal with the Ukrainian crisis. The Obama administration wants to create an integrated Iraq devoid of jihadists and have Russia accept a pro-Western Ukraine. It also does not want to devote substantial military forces to either theater. Its dilemma is how to achieve its goals without risk. If it can't do this, what risk will it accept or must it accept?

Strategies that minimize risk and create maximum influence are rational and should be a founding principle of any country. By this logic, the U.S. strategy ought to be to maintain the balance of power in a region using proxies and provide material support to those proxies but avoid direct military involvement until there is no other option. The most important thing is to provide the support that obviates the need for intervention.

In the Syria-Iraq theater, the United States moved from a strategy of seeking a unified state under secular pro-Western forces to one seeking a balance of power between the Alawites and jihadists. In Iraq, the United States pursued a unified government under Baghdad and is now trying to contain the Islamic State using minimal U.S. forces and Kurdish, Shiite and some Sunni proxies. If that fails, the U.S. strategy in Iraq will devolve into the strategy in Syria, namely, seeking a balance of power between factions. It is not clear that another strategy exists. The U.S. occupation of Iraq that began in 2003 did not result in a military solution, and it is not clear that a repeat of 2003 would succeed either. Any military action must be taken with a clear outcome in mind and a reasonable expectation that the allocation of forces will achieve that outcome; wishful thinking is not permitted. Realistically, air power and special operations forces on the ground are unlikely to force the Islamic State to capitulate or to result in its dissolution.

Ukraine, of course, has a different dynamic. The United States saw the events in Ukraine as either an opportunity for moral posturing or as a strategic blow to Russian national security. Either way, it had the same result: It created a challenge to fundamental Russian interests and placed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a dangerous position. His intelligence services completely failed to forecast or manage events in Kiev or to generate a broad rising in eastern Ukraine. Moreover, the Ukrainians were defeating their supporters (with the distinction between supporters and Russian troops becoming increasingly meaningless with each passing day). But it was obvious that the Russians were not simply going to let the Ukrainian reality become a fait accompli. They would counterattack. But even so, they would still have moved from once shaping Ukrainian policy to losing all but a small fragment of Ukraine. They will therefore maintain a permanently aggressive posture in a bid to recoup what has been lost.

U.S. strategy in Ukraine tracks its strategy in Syria-Iraq. First, Washington uses proxies; second, it provides material support; and third, it avoids direct military involvement. Both strategies assume that the main adversary -- the Islamic State in Syria-Iraq and Russia in Ukraine -- is incapable of mounting a decisive offensive, or that any offensive it mounts can be blunted with air power. But to be successful, U.S. strategy assumes there will be coherent Ukrainian and Iraqi resistance to Russia and the Islamic State, respectively. If that doesn't materialize or dissolves, so does the strategy.

The United States is betting on risky allies. And the outcome matters in the long run. U.S. strategy prior to World Wars I and II was to limit involvement until the situation could be handled only with a massive American deployment. During the Cold War, the United States changed its strategy to a pre-commitment of at least some forces; this had a better outcome. The United States is not invulnerable to foreign threats, although those foreign threats must evolve dramatically. The earlier intervention was less costly than intervention at the last possible minute. Neither the Islamic State nor Russia poses such a threat to the United States, and it is very likely that the respective regional balance of power can contain them. But if they can't, the crises could evolve into a more direct threat to the United States. And shaping the regional balance of power requires exertion and taking at least some risks.
Regional Balances of Power and the Black Sea

The rational move for countries like Romania, Hungary or Poland is to accommodate Russia unless they have significant guarantees from the outside. Whether fair or not, only the United States can deliver those guarantees. The same can be said about the Shia and the Kurds, both of whom the United States has abandoned in recent years, assuming that they could manage on their own.

The issue the United States faces is how to structure such support, physically and conceptually. There appear to be two distinct and unconnected theaters, and American power is limited. The situation would seem to preclude persuasive guarantees. But U.S. strategic conception must evolve away from seeing these as distinct theaters into seeing them as different aspects of the same theater: the Black Sea.

When we look at a map, we note that the Black Sea is the geographic organizing principle of these areas. The sea is the southern frontier of Ukraine and European Russia and the Caucasus, where Russian, jihadist and Iranian power converge on the Black Sea. Northern Syria and Iraq are fewer than 650 kilometers (400 miles) from the Black Sea.

The United States has had a North Atlantic strategy. It has had a Caribbean strategy, a Western Pacific strategy and so on. This did not simply mean a naval strategy. Rather, it was understood as a combined arms system of power projection that depended on naval power to provide strategic supply, delivery of troops and air power. It also placed its forces in such a configuration that the one force, or at least command structure, could provide support in multiple directions.

The United States has a strategic problem that can be addressed either as two or more unrelated problems requiring redundant resources or a single integrated solution. It is true that the Russians and the Islamic State do not see themselves as part of a single theater. But opponents don't define theaters of operation for the United States. The first step in crafting a strategy is to define the map in a way that allows the strategist to think in terms of unity of forces rather than separation, and unity of support rather than division. It also allows the strategist to think of his regional relationships as part of an integrated strategy.

Assume for the moment that the Russians chose to intervene in the Caucasus again, that jihadists moved out of Chechnya and Dagestan into Georgia and Azerbaijan, or that Iran chose to move north. The outcome of events in the Caucasus would matter greatly to the United States. Under the current strategic structure, where U.S. decision-makers seem incapable of conceptualizing the two present strategic problems, such a third crisis would overwhelm them. But thinking in terms of securing what I'll call the Greater Black Sea Basin would provide a framework for addressing the current thought exercise. A Black Sea strategy would define the significance of Georgia, the eastern coast of the Black Sea. Even more important, it would elevate Azerbaijan to the level of importance it should have in U.S. strategy. Without Azerbaijan, Georgia has little weight. With Azerbaijan, there is a counter to jihadists in the high Caucasus, or at least a buffer, since Azerbaijan is logically the eastern anchor of the Greater Black Sea strategy.

A Black Sea strategy would also force definition of two key relationships for the United States. The first is Turkey. Russia aside, Turkey is the major native Black Sea power. It has interests throughout the Greater Black Sea Basin, namely, in Syria, Iraq, the Caucasus, Russia and Ukraine. Thinking in terms of a Black Sea strategy, Turkey becomes one of the indispensible allies since its interests touch American interests. Aligning U.S. and Turkish strategy would be a precondition for such a strategy, meaning both nations would have to make serious policy shifts. An explicit Black Sea-centered strategy would put U.S.-Turkish relations at the forefront, and a failure to align would tell both countries that they need to re-examine their strategic relationship. At this point, U.S.-Turkish relations seem to be based on a systematic avoidance of confronting realities. With the Black Sea as a centerpiece, evasion, which is rarely useful in creating realistic strategies, would be difficult.
The Centrality of Romania

The second critical country is Romania. The Montreux Convention prohibits the unlimited transit of a naval force into the Black Sea through the Bosporus, controlled by Turkey. Romania, however, is a Black Sea nation, and no limitations apply to it, although its naval combat power is centered on a few aging frigates backed up by a half-dozen corvettes. Apart from being a potential base for aircraft for operations in the region, particularly in Ukraine, supporting Romania in building a significant naval force in the Black Sea -- potentially including amphibious ships -- would provide a deterrent force against the Russians and also shape affairs in the Black Sea that might motivate Turkey to cooperate with Romania and thereby work with the United States. The traditional NATO structure can survive this evolution, even though most of NATO is irrelevant to the problems facing the Black Sea Basin. Regardless of how the Syria-Iraq drama ends, it is secondary to the future of Russia's relationship with Ukraine and the European Peninsula. Poland anchors the North European Plain, but the action for now is in the Black Sea, and that makes Romania the critical partner in the European Peninsula. It will feel the first pressure if Russia regains its position in Ukraine.

I have written frequently on the emergence -- and the inevitability of the emergence -- of an alliance based on the notion of the Intermarium, the land between the seas. It would stretch between the Baltic and Black seas and would be an alliance designed to contain a newly assertive Russia. I have envisioned this alliance stretching east to the Caspian, taking in Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The Poland-to-Romania line is already emerging. It seems obvious that given events on both sides of the Black Sea, the rest of this line will emerge.

The United States ought to adopt the policy of the Cold War. That consisted of four parts. First, allies were expected to provide the geographical foundation of defense and substantial forces to respond to threats. Second, the United States was to provide military and economic aid as necessary to support this structure. Third, the United States was to pre-position some forces as guarantors of U.S. commitment and as immediate support. And fourth, Washington was to guarantee the total commitment of all U.S. forces to defending allies, although the need to fulfill the last guarantee never arose.

The United States has an uncertain alliance structure in the Greater Black Sea Basin that is neither mutually supportive nor permits the United States a coherent power in the region given the conceptual division of the region into distinct theaters. The United States is providing aid, but again on an inconsistent basis. Some U.S. forces are involved, but their mission is unclear, it is unclear that they are in the right places, and it is unclear what the regional policy is.

Thus, U.S. policy for the moment is incoherent. A Black Sea strategy is merely a name, but sometimes a name is sufficient to focus strategic thinking. So long as the United States thinks in terms of Ukraine and Syria and Iraq as if they were on different planets, the economy of forces that coherent strategy requires will never be achieved. Thinking in terms of the Black Sea as a pivot of a single diverse and diffuse region can anchor U.S. thinking. Merely anchoring strategic concepts does not win wars, nor prevent them. But anything that provides coherence to American strategy has value.

The Greater Black Sea Basin, as broadly defined, is already the object of U.S. military and political involvement. It is just not perceived that way in military, political or even public and media calculations. It should be. For that will bring perception in line with fast-emerging reality.

Read more: Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy | Stratfor
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fracking and arsenic-- correlation implied on: September 02, 2014, 10:06:34 PM

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/02/3477823/texas-arsenic-fracking-study/
207  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Tuhon and Son (Sled Dog) #16: Guest: Crafty Dog on: September 02, 2014, 09:10:11 PM


https://www.facebook.com/crashbdx/posts/10152353092223553
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya and on: September 02, 2014, 08:13:05 PM
Thank you for the follow up-- which exemplifies our code here:  "We search for Truth."
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America on: September 02, 2014, 08:04:55 PM
How does the saying go?

"Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way."
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dad of KIA SEAL writes to Obama on: September 02, 2014, 08:02:24 PM
No doubt this will get the same level as Cindy Sheehan's utterances to Bush-2:

=============================

"After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.

My offering was my only son — Aaron Carson Vaughn. Aaron was a member of SEAL Team VI. He was killed in action when a CH47D Chinook, carrying thirty Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.

Many times over the past three years, I have been asked what drove my son to choose his particular career. What made him want to be a Navy SEAL? My answer is simple.

Aaron Vaughn was a man who possessed the courage to acknowledge evil. And evil, once truly acknowledged, demands response. Perhaps this is why so few are willing to look it in the eye. It is much simpler — much safer — to look the other way.

That is, unless you are the leader of the Free World.

As Commander-in-Chief, your actions — or lack thereof — Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe. Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.

Please vacate the people’s house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history.

Thanks to your “leadership” from whatever multi-million dollar vacation you happen to be on at any given moment, the world is in chaos. What’s been gained, you’ve lost. What’s been lost, you’ve decimated. You’ve demolished our ability to hold the trust of allies. You’ve made a mockery of the title “President.” And you’ve betrayed the nation for which my son and over 1.3 million others have sacrificed their very lives.

But this should come as no surprise, since your wife uttered a vile statement on Feb. 18, 2008, during the primary campaign — one that speaks volumes of your true convictions. “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she said.

I am sure my deceased son thanks you for that, Mrs. Obama. Oh, and you’re welcome.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such despair and such growing fear that the world’s last best hope, America, has finally been dismantled. Perhaps the better word is transformed — fundamentally transformed. Come to think of it, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to believe things haven’t gone exactly as you planned, Mr. President.

Amazingly, in five short years, your administration has lurched from one disaster to another. You spearheaded the ambitious rush to end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan — with no plan on how to do so effectively. Also, the release of “the Taliban five” in exchange for one American — without consulting Congress — is also on your shoulders.

You have been at the helm during unprecedented national security leaks — including, but not limited to the outing of SEAL Team VI on the Bin laden raid, the outing of the Pakistani doctor who provided the intelligence for that raid, the outing of Afghanistan’s CIA station chief, and the outing of your personal “kill list” to make you look tough. In addition, 75 percent of American deaths in Afghanistan and 83 percent of Americans-wounded-in-action have occurred on your watch, according to icasualties.org.

And now, we have this recent, heinous event: the beheading of an American citizen by a barbaric organization you foolishly referred to as “the JV team” in your statements to the New Yorker magazine in January.

You, sir, are the JV team. It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters.

America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr. President, are a bump in our road."

Reprinted with family's permission



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...sident-Obama-s-resignation.html#ixzz3CCH02irl
211  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Filipinos in Syria on: September 02, 2014, 04:14:24 PM
http://www.timesofisrael.com/filipino-force-defied-un-commander-in-golan-crisis/
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Where have the unaccompanied illegal alien children gone? on: September 02, 2014, 01:44:34 PM


Where Have the Unaccompanied Alien Children Gone?
The government has shut down three shelters at U.S. military bases holding the unaccompanied alien children that streamed across the southern border earlier in the year. The government has released 37,477 of the children across the states, but exactly where they won't say. Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said, "It's outrageous. Now, this administration is telling the American people -- and Congress -- that we're not even entitled to know where these people are, where they're being held, what communities are going to be impacted." HHS has released a list of where 29,890 of the unaccompanied alien children were sent by county. But it doesn't show what towns are affected, whether the children are sent into a group home, or whether they are united with their families or are now in the foster care system. According to the Washington Examiner, only 280 were deported
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: Boy, you guys are really wrong on: September 02, 2014, 01:42:07 PM


The ISM Manufacturing Index Surged to 59.0 in August To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 9/2/2014

The ISM manufacturing index surged to 59.0 in August from 57.1 in July, easily beating the consensus expected level of 57.0. (Levels higher than 50 signal expansion; levels below 50 signal contraction.)
The major measures of activity were mixed in August, but all remain well above 50, signaling growth. The new orders index rose to 66.7 from 63.4, while the production index increased to 64.5 from 61.2. The supplier deliveries index dipped slightly to 53.9 from 54.1. The employment index was little changed at 58.1 from 58.2 in July.
The prices paid index declined to 58.0 in August from 59.5 in July.

Implications: A booming report from the manufacturing sector as the ISM Manufacturing index, which measures factory sentiment around the country, rose to 59.0 in August, the highest level in more than three years. The best news in today’s report came from the new orders index, which rose to 66.7, the highest reading in more than a decade, and a sign that factory activity should continue to pick up in the months ahead. According to the Institute for Supply Management, an overall index level of 59.0 is consistent with real GDP growth of 5.2% annually. While last week’s GDP report came in at a strong 4.2% for Q2, we don’t expect the growth rate to remain quite that fast over the remainder of the year. The long-term link between the ISM report and real GDP growth has tended to over-estimate real GDP growth in the past several years. On the inflation front, the prices paid index fell to a still elevated 58.0 in August from 59.5 in July. Along with broader measures of consumer and producer prices, inflation is showing signs of overly loose monetary policy. The employment index was essentially unchanged at 58.1 in August, just off the three year high reading of 58.2 in July’s report. With the data in today’s release, we are currently forecasting a gain of about 25,000 manufacturing jobs for this Friday’s employment survey. In other news today, construction increased 1.8% in July and 3.3% including upward revisions for May and June. The gain in July itself was led by state and local projects (like paving roads and building bridges). A large gain in commercial construction was led by power plants and manufacturing facilities. The upward revisions for May/June suggest real GDP will be revised up to a 4.4% annual growth rate in Q2 from a prior report of 4.2%.
214  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Corruption in education on: September 02, 2014, 01:26:42 PM


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/world/americas/billboard-drives-home-extent-of-corruption-as-schools-suffer.html?emc=edit_th_20140902&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Medical fascism in the UK on: September 02, 2014, 01:25:01 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/world/europe/parents-who-took-ill-son-abroad-fight-order-to-return-to-britain.html?emc=edit_th_20140902&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH covers again for Obama by smearing the Pesh Merga on: September 02, 2014, 01:22:26 PM
Pravda on the Hudson forgets to mention that ISIS had the heavy armament that it captured from the fleeing army of the central government and that the Pesh Merga had not been supplied much at all for a long time.  That said, there are a number of points of interest in the article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/world/middleeast/tarnishing-a-reputation-as-storied-warriors.html?emc=edit_th_20140902&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maybe this will motivate Obama to come up with a plan , , , on: September 02, 2014, 01:01:31 PM


http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/steven-sotloff-video-appears-show-isis-execution-american/story?id=25216725
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sam Adams as "Candidus", 1776 on: September 02, 2014, 11:56:07 AM
"Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of their own posterity's liberty!" --Samuel Adams ("Candidus"), 1776
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Does sex have a purpose? on: September 02, 2014, 11:44:34 AM
This piece offers a particular point of view:

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/does_sex_have_a_purpose
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Would this be happening under my proffered strategy? on: September 02, 2014, 11:39:49 AM


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/world/middleeast/iraq.html?emc=edit_th_20140901&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It begins , , ,? on: September 02, 2014, 07:57:27 AM


http://www.tpnn.com/2014/09/01/muslim-threats-against-christian-churches-in-america/
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Nice Read: Sympathy for a Desert Dog on: September 02, 2014, 07:21:06 AM


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/31/sympathy-for-a-desert-dog/?_php=true&_type=blogs&emc=edit_th_20140901&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0 
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Catchy smartass clip on: September 01, 2014, 07:37:20 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw5Lda06iK0&feature=youtu.be
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A close call-- let's avoid friendly fire! on: September 01, 2014, 07:15:29 PM
http://www.policeone.com/border-patrol/articles/7514553-Border-Patrol-agent-fires-at-armed-militia-member/
225  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Tactical Gun Issues on: September 01, 2014, 06:32:13 PM
Ah, I didn't get that far , , ,  embarassed
226  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Tactical Gun Issues on: September 01, 2014, 04:38:47 PM
My Portuguese is rather deficient , , ,
227  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Euro Gatherings on: September 01, 2014, 04:37:21 PM
Some righteous HCTCH there!

WWWOOOFFF!!!

 cool cool cool
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 8 Psuedo-scientific claims debunked? on: September 01, 2014, 04:31:44 PM
second post

I'd like everyone's take on this one.

http://billmoyers.com/2014/05/16/eight-pseudo-scientific-climate-claims-debunked-by-real-scientists/
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dail Mail piece debunked? on: September 01, 2014, 04:18:18 PM
http://www.skepticalscience.com/misleading-daily-mail-prebunked-nuccitelli-et-al-2012.html 
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Yet another "Let's negotiate with these guys" 5.0 on: September 01, 2014, 02:08:35 PM
http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/undercover-canadian-playwright-exposes-arab-holocaust-denial-jew-hatred?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+Undercover+Canadian+Filmaker+Exposes+Arab+Holocaust+Denial%2C+Jew-Hatred&utm_campaign=20140901_m121947874_9%2F01+Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+Undercover+Canadian+Filmaker+Exposes+Arab+Holocaust+Denial%2C+Jew-Hatred&utm_term=Undercover+Canadian+Filmaker+Exposes+Arab+Holocaust+Denial_2C+Jew-Hatred
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Hamilton, 1791 on: September 01, 2014, 01:19:09 PM


"To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted." --Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures, 1791
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / "Are you a racist?"-- reporter gets stuffed. on: September 01, 2014, 01:15:00 PM
second post of the day

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1e8_1409202738
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: September 01, 2014, 02:19:27 AM
I suspect the currents called gyres are already there and the mechanism that gets the plastic there is human laziness and stupidity.
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CA to ban plastic grocery bags? on: September 01, 2014, 12:30:35 AM
Well it looks like my idea is going to be given a shot , , ,


https://www.facebook.com/KUSITV?fref=photo
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / "I'm just sayin'" on: September 01, 2014, 12:22:18 AM


https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152314396513715&fref=nf 
236  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Secret good samaritans on: August 31, 2014, 07:50:51 PM
http://www.local12.com/news/features/around-the-web/stories/texas-officers-buy-groceries-for-needy-family-wkrc.shtml#.VAPCiIUZ_P8
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jihadis swimming in the US embassy pool. on: August 31, 2014, 07:39:30 PM
Not a terribly reliable source, but the story sure is plausible:

http://www.tpnn.com/2014/08/31/report-islamist-terrorists-overtake-u-s-embassy-in-libya/
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Where the guns are on: August 31, 2014, 12:26:55 PM


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/08/31/take-a-gander-at-americas-most-heavily-armed-counties-the-ones-that-arent-on-the-map-might-surprise-you/
239  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Carbondale, IL 11/22 - 23 on: August 31, 2014, 09:05:16 AM
Looking forward to this.  Word is this seminar will be well supported by the various  DBMA Training Groups of the region-- should be good times!
240  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: 9/21/2014 Dog Brothers Open Gathering of the Pack on: August 31, 2014, 09:03:59 AM
10: Greg Macnamee

241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: August 30, 2014, 09:21:51 PM
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/mitt-romney-2016-election-iowa-poll-110392.html
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: August 30, 2014, 04:50:40 PM
But but but supporting the FSA proves Hillary is harder than Baraq!

Good to see you posting here again Mike.
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The 20 Committee on: August 30, 2014, 04:22:49 PM

Recommended by someone whom I respect greatly.

http://20committee.com/
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hat tip to BBG for this one on: August 30, 2014, 04:18:58 PM


http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/183033/israel-insider-guide/1
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mark Steyn: The Reformation of Manners on: August 30, 2014, 04:15:49 PM


http://www.steynonline.com/6543/the-reformation-of-manners
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maybe if he had deserted to the enemy he would get more help on: August 30, 2014, 01:49:47 PM
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/08/29/more-than-134000-petition-obama-admin-to-demand-release-of-sgt-tahmooressi-heres-the-response-they-recieved-instead/
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Judge strikes down ban on polygamy on: August 30, 2014, 12:27:18 PM


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2736287/Final-ruling-issued-against-polygamy-ban.html
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Tenth/10th Amendment: States Rights on: August 30, 2014, 12:24:48 PM
Yes, much better GM.  Thank you.
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ISIS trains children; father who opposed threatened with beheading on: August 30, 2014, 12:22:32 PM
http://popularmilitary.com/isis-trains-children-extreme-violence/
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / OTMs on: August 30, 2014, 11:55:20 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kKr44Ey8WU&feature=youtu.be
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